back to article Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein

As the weekend looms, spare a thought for those unfortunates forced to, you know, deal with actual users. Perhaps buy one a beer after spending a moment with our regular On Call column. Today's tale, from a reader we'll call "Anthony", takes us back to the heady days of Britpop, the Spice Girls and Windows 95. While the rest …

  1. Uk_Gadget

    Taking the Trash

    Used to get emptied every week, cart woke me up every Tuesday morning...

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: Taking the Trash

      You put your trousers on, 'ave a cup of tea, then think about leavin' the 'ouse?

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Taking the Trash

        Parklife!

        1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Taking the Trash

          All the people. So many people.

      2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        Re: Taking the Trash

        Who said anything about trousers? =-D

        1. myhandler

          Re: Taking the Trash

          Gor blimey trousers is where it's at you young'uns.

          1. AceRimmer1980
            Thumb Up

            Re: Taking the Trash

            If you live in a council flat.

        2. Soruk
          Pint

          Re: Taking the Trash

          Donald?!

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Taking the Trash

      They've just changed the route for our road. We used to be last, so we could put everything out on the way to work, and it would be picked up around mid-day.

      Now we're first, so I had to roll out of bed this morning, and go out to the pavement in my dressing gown to put the boxes out.

      No IT angle, I just needed to complain.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Taking the Trash

        I put mine out last night because it arrives at around 6am.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Taking the Trash

          I put mine down the chute whenever I like because I live in a tower block :-)

          1. macjules Silver badge

            Re: Taking the Trash

            On the ninety-ninth floor?

            1. Anonymous Tribble

              Re: Taking the Trash

              "On the ninety-ninth floor?"

              Level 42.

              1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

                Re: Taking the Trash

                "On the ninety-ninth floor?"

                Level 42.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTa0TGJ8J74

            2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: Taking the Trash

              14th floor - and when I get bored,

              I call coo-ee to the passersby and when they look up

              I gob in their eye!

        2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Taking the Trash

          We put ours out the night before, otherwise East Herts slap stickers moaning about bins being out late.

          They also have stickers for they found the wrong plastic in the recycle bin, or found food waste in the black bin.

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Taking the Trash

            Plastic stickers?

            1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

              Re: Taking the Trash

              Erm they are coated but no idea if they are plastic.

          2. tfewster Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Taking the Trash

            > We put ours out the night before

            Butnot before 7pm - Our council will fine you for that.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Re: Taking the Trash

              One of the few things that still manages to make my blood boil is paying for a service that could ultimately lead to me being fined.

              It's fucking outrageous, and I don't even live in Tunbridge Wells!

              1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                Re: Taking the Trash

                I will write a strongly worded letter on your behalf.

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Taking the Trash

            Our council have also started that lark, including withdrawing the green bins from offenders (which does great things for the overall recycling figures!). Part of the problem is that some households don't have anywhere to keep their bins away from the roadside so passers-by who can't be arsed to take their litter home just dump in any bin they pass so householders are being blamed for stuff they didn't put into the bin.

            1. Rol Silver badge

              Re: Taking the Trash

              A smack head carefully removed the biodegradable food waste bags from our food recycling bin, left out overnight for the morning collection, and had a crap in it, later placing the bags back. (A smack 'ed turd is easily identifiable, by its huge length and girth, think salami, and that's not an overstatement. No wonder they use Heroin)

              On emptying, the collectors carefully manoeuvred the turd back into the bin and dumped it back on the pavement, where I then later discovered it.

              The following week the collectors smashed the bin into pieces, as they evidently got fed up of playing ping pong with the anonymous turd, which by now was almost indistinguishable from the rotting remnants of last weeks grittles.

              Such a shame that public servants are refusing to take shit from the public any more, but in my defence, my domestic grade toilet lacked the capacity to deal with the problem effectively.

              1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

                Re: Taking the Trash

                A smack 'ed turd is easily identifiable, by its huge length and girth, think salami, and that's not an overstatement.

                That answers a 30 year conundrum! Back when I was in college halls of residence, now and then there were these ginormous deposits which would not disintegrate in short order and traverse the s-bend.

                There was one resident whose room stank of weed - the cleaner used to open the door and go in with an air freshener on full blast when doing his room.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Taking the Trash

                  Smack 'ed != weed

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Taking the Trash

                    I'm guessing an issue for anyone taking any drugs

                    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                      Re: Taking the Trash

                      What, like paracetamol, ethanol and nicotine?

            2. Maverick
              Facepalm

              Re: Taking the Trash

              ah someone else who enjoys the fine services of Kirklees!

              they have a new game now; a clever system to load the route into a tablet in the cab because, well after 20 years the bloke in the cab can no longer remember the route (I assume), the issue is that the full route doesn't load but the sending system says it all data has gone so when you ring up to complain you are basically called a liar.

              If only there was a way for the receiving system to check it has received all of the data.

        3. raving angry loony

          Re: Taking the Trash

          Around here if you put yours out the night before, they fine you for contributing to a potential bear problem. Because they couldn't be arsed to create bins that unlock when the "automated" truck picks it up, and instead depend on the punters manually unlocking them when they get put out.

          1. Lates

            Re: Taking the Trash

            Blimey, Croydon has got seriously rough!

        4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Taking the Trash

          "I put mine out last night because it arrives at around 6am."

          We used to have something similar - but quite such an un-earthly time - which meant that the empty bin could be removed from the gateway to get the car out. Now it's quite unpredictable. The bin needs to be left out overnight just in case but there's a distinct probability that the car has to be manoeuvred round it in the morning because it's still full.

        5. innominatus

          Re: Taking the Trash

          Put it out the too early the night before and the local neds drag it into the woods and set fire to it

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Taking the Trash

        Ours gets picked up around 6am so it goes out the night before. Some days the gulls have opened half the bags and there is rubbish all over the place.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Taking the Trash

          "Ours gets picked up around 6am so it goes out the night before. Some days the gulls have opened half the bags and there is rubbish all over the place."

          Ever thought of buying a bin? Or is your Local Authority one of those that insists on bags?

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Taking the Trash

            If you put it in a bin they just drive past. They need to see bags.

        2. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

          Re: Taking the Trash

          Gulls are smart. They know where to find food, can learn from other gulls and can even pass on helpful little tips to their micro-gullets. They have also learned that, contrary to millions of years of Darwinian programming, humans are not allowed to harm them.

          They would be wonderful and fascinating creatures were they not such dangerous, evil little bastards.

          1. TheProf Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Taking the Trash

            Not allowed to harm them? A quick 'tap' with a baseball bat and the readers of red-top tabloids could eat their seaside chips in peace.

            A 'tap' with a bat would also be most efficacious against pavement bicyclers.

            1. herman Silver badge

              Re: Taking the Trash

              The best defense against pushbikes on pavements, is a deft jab with a walking cane/cross country ski stick, at the front wheel.

              1. ChrisBedford

                Re: Taking the Trash

                The best defense against pushbikes on pavements, is a deft jab with a walking cane/cross country ski stick, at the front wheel.

                Thanks. Thanks very much. Thus forcing us to ride in the traffic, where motorists have an even more homicidal approach to us.

                Try to appreciate the bloke on the bike is just trying to stay alive and relatively uninjured, and (with a bit of luck) not too out of pocket for bicycle repairs. Is that too much to ask?

                1. theforestdweller

                  Re: Taking the Trash

                  Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 prohibits ‘wilfully riding’ on footpaths, which refers to the path at the side of a carriageway. The original law from 1835 doesn’t refer to bicycles or cyclists (as bicycles weren’t in such common use in England as they are today) and it doesn’t mention pavements - as this is a modern word. However, the interpretation is clear - it’s not legal for a cyclist to ride their bike on the pavement. The Highway Code also states: “You must not cycle on a pavement.”

                  The offence of riding a bike on the pavement is punishable by an on-the-spot fine, a fixed penalty notice of £30. This is charged under Schedule 3 and Section 51 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

                  1. Terry 6 Silver badge
                    Flame

                    Re: Taking the Trash

                    But they never do. My local stretch of footpath along the A406 is like a kind of shooting gallery.

                    As it happens I don't actually mind the cyclists so much.

                    I do mind that they often come shooting along as if there were no bends, narrow bits or err pedestrians.

                    And I'm sick to the back teeth of the ones who do that and object and get really aggressive if they meet a pedestrian. Those are the ones who think they have a divine right to cycle where they like.

                    It's a footpath not a cycle path and it's not their right of way.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Taking the Trash

        My route went the other way round, now instead of putting it out the night before, SWMBO drags it down as she leaves for work.

        Although TBH, it often till hasnt been emptied by the time I return from work.

        Fortnightly collections dont save ANY money; it takes just as long and the lorries have to drive just as far, if not further, as they have to stop and do an extra 40 mile round trip to the tip mid-collection, as the lorries arent big enough for 2 weeks worth of rubbish.

        It is all a con.

        1. paulll

          Re: Taking the Trash

          You have a missus who'll put the bin out? I'd come to the conclusion that that is not a thing.

    3. Imhotep Silver badge

      Re: Taking the Trash

      My old man's a dustman!

      1. Ochib

        Re: Taking the Trash

        Does he wear a Dustman's hat?

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: Taking the Trash

          There's a wonderful Spitting Image bit which the Prince Charles puppet did.

          "My old man's a Duke,

          He wears a Dukal hat,

          He's never met the working class,

          Or seen a council flat."

      2. Anomalous Custard

        Re: Taking the Trash

        Do council flats exist anymore?

        1. Huw D

          Re: Taking the Trash

          Yes.

          I know someone who lives in one. Unfortunately he's a postman and that sort of ruins it.

        2. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: Taking the Trash

          The first property I ever bought was above one.

          The people I bought it from made a substantial profit; they'd bought under right-to-buy. I made a substantial profit on it too; prices were rocketing at the time.

          1. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

            Re: Taking the Trash

            I once bought a Council flat. My first house purchase. We got it dead cheap because of "right to buy" and that nice P.M. lady.

            No, not *her*, the other one.

            OB-IT-Bit: we had a P.C. in it and it had a modem. I *loathed* that screeing tortured robot noise so I found out how to mute it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Taking the Trash

              "OB-IT-Bit: we had a P.C. in it and it had a modem. I *loathed* that screeing tortured robot noise so I found out how to mute it."

              ATL0

              (cheated, had to look it up, I was thinking "S0")

    4. Herby

      Re: Taking the Trash

      Take out the papers and the trash

      Or you don't get no spendin' cash

      If you don't scrub that kitchen floor

      You ain't gonna rock and roll no more

      Yakety yak (don't talk back)....

      Sorry, couldn't resist..

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Taking the Trash

      I was one of several software authors who wrote a 'trash can' desktop application for windows 3.x . Mine looked like a toilet. Made a flushing sound when you emptied it. Simple, really, and the '95 trashcan basically worked like mine did minus the flushing sound [naturally I often changed the icons to match mine in the '9x versions].

      (the 'full' icon has green water)

      As I recall, you right-clicked the icon for the menu to empty it or restore a file, like all of the others.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Taking the Trash

        Just as long as you didn't have anything to do with that bastard paper clip.

    6. no cube

      Re: Taking the Trash

      I roll out my wheely bins every Thursday morning....no rush, they usually come around to pick up between noon and 1pm.

  2. sanwin
    Facepalm

    I still come across people who use the recycle bin as regular storage. In the past I've known people who assumed it was a different disc, network, or even cloud storage.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Didn't that idea stop working when Disk Optimiser (or whatever it's called) on Windows 7 decided it wanted to empty the recycle bin every month?

      Like most of that kind of nonsense, I disabled it after seeing it the first time but many people would have just clicked straight through.

    2. M Couchman

      Soon after I first started started seeing home users, I remember visiting someone who had their Outlook Express email set to be stored in

      C:\windows\temp\[randomsubfolder]

      I think I deleted it as their C: drive had 0 bytes free. Oops - a lesson learned about never deleting *anything* without a backup or double checking every folder.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You would have loved one of the PC builds I had to endure, then. Everything was supposed to be stored on the network, so some genius decided to lock the thing right down so that the only place you could write to on the local machine was the temp directory.

        Didn't stop people storing files locally. Just had to do it under temp...

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          After the company I worked for merged with (was taken over by) another company the head of IT changed. New bloke who is more of a manager than a real IT type wants to make staff store everything on a network drive to allow for hot desking. He therefore instructs all the machines locked down. Users will not be able to store anything on a local drive at all. There was a rule that no personal data/files were to be stored on the network. This meant users were now seriously restricted compared to what had gone on before. However if you used a particular software package if you didn't have local storage it didn't work. He was perplexed as to why we were getting so many support calls regarding this as he'd personally certified that all the software was suitable.

          He'd used most things elsewhere and done the same trick but had evidently got lucky. A joke email that went round suggested buying him a copy of windows for dummies. As this was really something a lot of people used the machines were required to have local access. That buggered up his hotdesking plans.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Upvote but...

            Does a virtual drive not allow for this?

      2. N2 Silver badge

        Ah, not that old chestnut

        Once visiting similar user, before starting I asked if everything had a recent backup

        Back-up? came the reply, whats that then?

      3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Ah, the old days when SET TMP=C:\DOS was standard.

    3. Oengus Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I still remember clearing a manager's Recycle Bin because he had run out of disk space and having him come back the next day saying he couldn't find any of his backups. He thought the Recycle Bin was a backup and regularly moved "old" files there.

    4. MOV r0,r0
      Big Brother

      Since I became the product, Google recycle all my activity - no need for a bin!

    5. Mark 85 Silver badge

      What we did, was add a folder on the desk top called "Storage" which went to their network share. It was hammered into them in training that any files, etc. they wanted to save went to the "Storage" folder. We also hammered that "Recycle Bin" was actually Trash...look at the icon. We still has some that used the bin for storage but they didn't last long. If users can't do simple things like that, then they should be non-users was manglements position. Worked pretty well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Genius. I mean, my "PC" or my "documents" or my "drive" are certainly not where things go. Must be the bin! Yep, bin is where I put all my important things.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I recall that I once created a bitmap image (set as wallpaper) that broke up my desktop into separate labelled sections and I used to put my icons into them, made it really easy to find everything.

          One day a 'manager' came by, noticed my desktop layout, and started bollocking me for installing non-approved software (i.e. some sort of desktop manager). Fucking idiot.

          Oddly enough it was this experience that allowed me to fix a mate's PC when it got 'infected' once. Apparently everyone who had tried to fix it before-hand had failed, they couldn't even close the text box that had popped up to tell him of the virus. I immediately got suspicious and checked the wallpaper settings and remove it. When said mate came back to PC he noticed I had 'fixed' the problem and was actually offended when I told him what it was - to the point where he didn't even thank me - ungrateful twat that he was.

  3. benjymous

    And on discovering that nobody would ever empty their precious recycling bin, that user then proceeded to use it to store all of their important documents (you know, all those reports that would be *recycled* next year with the new figures)

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      logical thinking

      in'nit?

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      I had to explain to a user who, upon "losing lots of emails", that storing them in the trash folder of the email client was not a good way to file to things. When she complained I took a load of papers off her desk, put them in the bin next to it and asked her if she expected them to still be there tomorrow? She quickly realised that storing things in a bin was a bad idea...

      1. AbortRetryFail

        @Nick Ryan

        That's utterly superb - framing the solution in a way the user totally understands. 10/10.

        1. shedied

          A demo in real life! Bravo! (and ballsy) Here's one for the road ---->

    3. jmch Silver badge

      Calling it 'recycle bin' is terrible naming, just call it a trashcan then people will know what it actually does

      1. BaconEatingMachine
        Megaphone

        Down-vote for the 'mercan. The reason I have to sense check my css for color...

        1. DJV Silver badge

          "color"

          Yep, and typing "color" always takes more keypresses than "colour":

          c-o-l-o-u-r-backspace-backspace-r

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Microshaft is too invested in things like political correctness. If there were a MORE politically correct term than 'reycle bin' they would have used it. But hey, I wrote the 'toilet' trashcan for 3.x and I typically use the icons and name on later windows desktops. One of my requests during the '95 beta program was to be able to change the icons and name and MS actually DID things like that for the beta tests back then...

        In Mate the default name is 'Trash'. Same things apply [icons, change name] except you might have to create a theme for the icons...

        (my windows 7 box uses the toilet icons and a profane term for a toilet as the name)

        1. JQW

          This reminds me of a support call I took a couple of decades ago. One of the products we sold was a long forgotten E-mail client that was an optional extra to the equally forgotten E-mail system.

          The vendor had released a new Windows version which was very, very buggy, with a tendency to crash with 'Assertion Failed' errors at an inopportune moment when processing any rule that worked under the previous version. It was obvious that this software had shipped months, if not years, before it was ready.

          I took a call from one client who had a site running the French translation of this client, which was failing to empty the wastebasket folder. Odd, because the underlying mail API just moved waste mail into a dedicated folder on the server, and a configurable job would run on the server at a set time (usually 3 a.m.) and empty every wastebasket at once. Obviously the new version of this mail client now did wastebasket handling too, and somehow that was also broken.

          After a bit of fiddling, we discovered that this French translated client had two wastebasket folders, named 'Corbeille' and 'Poubelle'. Mail got moved into one folder when deleted, but the automatic rule for emptying the wastebasket operated on the other one! If errors like that happen, no wonder the software was terrible.

        2. dajames Silver badge

          In Mate the default name is 'Trash'.

          Mine seems to be called "Wastebasket" (and the icon does look more like a waste-paper basket than a dustbin) ... maybe a GB/US difference?

      3. Terry 6 Silver badge

        A what can?

      4. wjake
        Big Brother

        Because Apple already had a "Wastebasket" with a trash can icon and M$ couldn't afford to be sued again for ripping off the Mac look and feel. (Yes,Apple lost that, but litigation is expensive!)

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Meh

          well, the fact that you can change the name might have something to do with NOT being sued, but that's really just the kind of non-critical "thing" these people sue one another over, so, meh...

          I'm using Mate on FreeBSD at the moment, and installed it all a couple of months ago, so maybe the default Linux theme calls it something else?

          it's also possible I renamed it to 'Trash' and forgot... on the other box it's 'Trash' and I copied the 'home' dir when I built the new machine... so now I'm wondering what it was when I first installed it.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    A stupid idea

    The whole concept makes no sense. The fact that so many users completely misunderstand it rather proves the point.

    Either you want to delete a file or you don't. A recycle bin doesn't really give you any more of a chance to change your mind than an "are you sure" type message. When (if) people get to empty it, how many actually look to see what's there?

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: A stupid idea

      Yeah, I get irritated that I have to empty it. When using Windows I always use shift-del.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: A stupid idea

        Yeah, just be careful not to do a CTRL+A before that, as I once did....

      2. swampdog

        Re: A stupid idea

        Yeah, this. Got to be so much of a habit "shift-del<cr>" that its existence is pointless for me and I still do it under linux when I'm not wide awake. I'm almost safer with "rm -rf"!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A stupid idea

        You can set the recycle bin to 0% or similar. So no need for the shortcut keys then (unless you do want to divide files between certain deletion, and deletion... but I'm currently a bit tipsy, so might change my mind in the morning :P ).

    2. Mr Humbug

      > A recycle bin doesn't really give you any more of a chance to change your mind than an "are you sure" type message.

      Of course it does. 'Are you sure?' and any other annoying boxes that appear on screen (such as error messages) only appear to interrupt users and must be dismissed as quickly as possible without reading them, let alone thinking about what it is asking.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Exactly, users automatically click Y to any are you sure message, because if they weren't sure they wouldn't have done it.

        Afterwards......

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        "Can you help me?"

        Can you help me. An error message popped up.

        What did it say?

        I don't know. I just clicked it to make it go away.

        Did you not read it?

        No. So can you help me?

        But I need to know what it said. It's very important to know what it asked.

        I'm sure it's about my email, they have not come in for days since I unpluged the telephone.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: "Can you help me?"

          you reminded me of 'Intenet Help Tesk' by the 3 trolls in a baggie

        2. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: "Can you help me?"

          "I'm sure it's about my email, they have not come in for days since I unpluged the telephone."

          reminds me of when we had a power cut following a lightning strike on our substation - it was a BIG site - and the power was brought back up in sections. I had a very stroppy call from someone in the VERY IMPORTANT category (well he thought he was) demanding I fix his computer.

          "is the power on?" I asked

          "How the **** should I know? I don't have time to deal with that kind of rubbish that's your problem"

          "Are your lights working?"

          "no, whats that got to do with anything? Just fix my **** computer (insert foul mouthed ranting here)"

          "well your power is still off, it wont work"

          "But the telephone is working.....!"

      3. Mooseman Silver badge

        "'Are you sure?' and any other annoying boxes that appear on screen (such as error messages) only appear to interrupt users and must be dismissed as quickly as possible without reading them, let alone thinking about what it is asking."

        Agree 100% I've had users in the past (and not so long ago) who merrily clicked through all the warning "are you sure" pop ups and deleted vast swathes of data. They then come to the hapless IT bod shouting that some idiot has deleted ALL THEIR FILES. Luckily the weekly recycle bin emptying hadn't run yet.

        Mind you I've had users who somehow manage to delete gigabytes of stuff from the server. I've let them sweat a while after I ran the restore :)

    3. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: A stupid idea

      never use a warning when you mean undo https://alistapart.com/article/neveruseawarning/

      It's a usability thing, because people are conditioned to say "of course I want to do $stupid_thing" (and often immediately regret it)

    4. slimshady76

      Re: A stupid idea

      It was all due to the earlier versions of W95 calling it "trash can". Buto somebody up top heard recycling was cool and trendy, so they renamed it to "recycle bin". That kinda steered the users into thinking it didn't store the stuff you'd dispose of, but that you'd use for something else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A stupid idea

        No, no, no. Earlier computers threw away the bits when you trashed files. Thats why disks ran out of free space so quickly. Now the operating system is able to recycle the 1s and 0s for new files, making your free space last longer!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A stupid idea

          True of punch cards.

          Partially true of SSDs, though they are a lot better now!

    5. Imhotep Silver badge

      Re: A stupid idea

      I think there were legal problems since Apple was using the term Trash Can - cuz this was completely different, your honor. That was the scuttlebut at the time.

      And so the opportunity to have a DustBin with appopriate playing was lost forever.

    6. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: A stupid idea

      But "recycle bin" is politically correct, isn't it? All those zillions of electrons get be recycled instead of tossed in the landfill.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: A stupid idea

        naw, we get nearly everything out of the ground, including the 1's and 0's [silicon], so let's just put it back into the ground where we FOUND it !!! (but in a landfill). At least we're not like *animals* who dump their flop 'wherever' and leave trails.

        (so what if it's a little altered after we're done with it, shouldn't matter)

    7. Robert Baker
      FAIL

      Re: A stupid idea

      I once had a piece of software which was supposed to protect against accidental deletion; attempting to delete files moved them to the Recycle Bin instead. I soon disabled it when I found that it was also protecting me against deliberate, intentional deletion; even files deleted using Shift+Del, or files deleted from within a DOS prompt, got "recycled"...

  5. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Walk like an...

    Ever had to explain just what all those pesky little pictures on the screen actually mean?

    Yes, lots, but then I am an Egyptologist.

    1. drand
      Coat

      Re: Walk like an...

      I went to Egypt and it was brilliant. I saw lots of funny little pictures carved into stone and painted on walls. I also enjoyed the mummified crocodiles. But I never saw their ancient TFT screens.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Walk like an...

        Mummy? Is that you?

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Walk like an...

        But I never saw their ancient TFT screens.

        Daniel Jackson hadn't yet discovered them when you visited.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Walk like an...

        "I went to Egypt and it was brilliant. I saw lots of funny little pictures carved into stone and painted on walls. I also enjoyed the mummified crocodiles. But I never saw their ancient TFT screens."

        Sounds like a visit to certain parts of any big city but without the crocs:-)

    2. nichomach
      Thumb Up

      Re: Walk like an...

      Slide your feet up the street, bend your back...

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Walk like an...

        and bend arms and wrists at 90 degree angles. But don't form a swastika...

  6. diver_dave

    Similar

    Once was asked to double check some figures as 18 out of 24 didn't "feel" like 75% to the user.

    Too early for pint o'clock?

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Pint

      Re: Similar

      > Too early for pint o'clock?

      Having seen the queues outside pubs in Cork at 7:30am, I'm going to have to say... no?

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Similar

        7:30? What a bunch of alkies! They'd wait until at least 9:30 round our way, maybe even 10.

        (Jokes aside, they were alcoholics and are all dead now).

        1. LeahroyNake Silver badge

          Re: Similar

          Unless they lived near Broad Street in 1884.

          'Well' I suppose they are all dead now as WELL alcoholics or not. If you get that reference have a fermented beverage on me.

          1. Chloe Cresswell

            Re: Similar

            The alcoholics would have lived longer?

          2. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Similar

            1854 to be pedantic, but I'll drink to that (+1)

            Broad Street Pump

            Brilliant work on the part of John Snow (not that one).

      2. Ol'Peculier

        Re: Similar

        I was in Cork on a Good Friday once. Not good. Everything, and I mean everything was shut. That was a long day, and we were in the queue on the Saturday morning to make up for it...

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Similar

          As a kid we went to Wales on our holidays. On Sundays everything closed, including the pubs. It was "dry" in the places we went.

          Except the clubs.Where the locals all vanished to.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Similar

            " went to Wales ... On Sundays everything closed"

            Well, it's all closed all the time now.

            Sing along after me..

            Failed in Wa-les, failed in wa-les..

  7. coconuthead

    pet peeve

    "How to actually login..."

    "Login" is the noun for the user's account, "log in" the verb. It's a thing separable verbs do in Germanic languages. Some other examples: "screwup"/"screw up", "mash up"/"mashup" and"rollover"/"roll over".

    1. drand

      Re: pet peeve

      Ooh, me too! also "everyday"/"every day".

      1. Scott 53

        Re: pet peeve

        "thankyou" - sorry if that's triggered anyone.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: pet peeve

          Not triggered, but you made my punching arm twitch.

    2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: pet peeve

      I will agree with your post because my screen reader tends to mangle mashed together words into an unrecognizeable mess.

      "Login" sounds like low+gin whereas "log in" sounds like log in. "Mashup" sounds like mah+shup whereas "mash up" sounds like mash up. It's why I resort to capitalizing the first letters of any concatinated words that I write, it causes my 'reader to annunciate the words as if they had been separated by a space.

      The other day when folks were discussing how to shut down a computer & everyone was using "winkey" to mean the Windows key, I had to stop laughing because my 'reader kept saying "winky" & I wondered why everyone was happy to be playing with themselves. "Winkey" sounds like winky, where WinKey sounds like Win & key. I had to character step through the word to realize that you all meant the Windows key & not your JohnThomas. XD

      1. WonkoTheSane
        Trollface

        Re: pet peeve

        Obligatory:- "Which one's the ANY key?"

        1. Ken Shabby
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: pet peeve

          I keep hitting the 'Escape' key - but I'm still here.

          1. Rol Silver badge

            Re: pet peeve

            I keep hitting the blinking Alt Win K combo.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: pet peeve

        Shadow Systems,

        Well it's important to know that in Windows since 95 (with the sad exception of Windows 8) when one presses ones winkey something pops up.

        So all Microsoft needed to fix Windows 8 was Viagra.

    3. A K Stiles Silver badge

      Re: pet peeve

      As evidenced by the phrasing on the button I had to press so the reg systems would allow me to give you an upvote (to up-vote you?).

      1. PM from Hell
        Happy

        And how do you show a space

        As a very junior programmer at the time, I had been taught to explicitly show spaces on coding forms* as an upside down triangle. Low and behold when I used this notation on a used guide for one of the first PC applications I built I got a very confused call from the end user who has spent an hour trying to find the key on the keyboard.

        *Programmers were notoriously bad typists back than and it was deemed cheaper and more efficient to employ data entry clerks who would type in the code on our behalf

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: And how do you show a space

          "t was deemed cheaper and more efficient to employ data entry clerks who would type in the code on our behalf"

          I don't know about your experience but in the days when I used coding sheets it was because data entry was via humongously expensive card punches and nobody was going to give a programmer one of those each. Although, being a university, when the data entry ops. had gone home we could use them in the evening.

          1. AustinTX

            Re: And how do you show a space

            I don't know how you young lads denote an unambiguous space, but I use a character which looks like a lower case 'b' with a slashie through it. The alt-code 2422 for it doesn't seem to work here.

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: And how do you show a space

              Yep. ICL-ers used an upside-down triangle for the same thing.

              I was taught to slash letter O to make it look greek and distinguish it from number 0, but stylistically I preferred to slash number 0s.

              There was always a five line cover on my coding sheet stacks to show which conventions I was using to tell 0/O I/1 Z/2 G/9 or G/6. To this day I slash zeroes and Zs and put really long tails on Gs. Looks ugly, but I wrote so many coding sheets it sorta stuck.

              Of course, the main advantage for a young male programmer to having a punch pool onsite was that the staff were universally female and for the most part young - this was the sort of job most people would even in those days regard as short-term.

              Whenever the ranting of a PHB was getting one down, a quick trip across the punch room to "remind the operators to wrote protect a tape" was always a welcome distraction.

              Of course, the corollary of the "most part young" is that the senior staff were for the most part older and best described as of the "battleaxe" persuasion. The trick was to take one's constitutional during the Managerial tea break.

            2. batfink Silver badge

              Re: And how do you show a space

              Something that looked like an underscore with vertical ticks up at either end. A bit like an extremely truncated, square-sided U.

          2. batfink Silver badge

            Re: And how do you show a space

            Damn right it was cheaper and more efficient, as none of us could type to save our lives, and those who typed on our behalf did so with wondrous speed and accuracy, and were able to chat away amongst themselves as they did it.

            Ah, the bygone thrills of a dip in the typing pool....

          3. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: And how do you show a space

            Oh don't argue Doctor Syntax. Don't you know we are in a post-fact world now and everything about our youth is being re-historified according to "everyone knows" by "too lazy to find out"?

            I tried correcting someone here last year who claimed it took 50 lines of Cobol (or some similar ridiculous number) to emulate a shell echo, and before that there was the chap who thought those huge teaching sliderules you see hanging in some casual dining restaurants these days were actually that big "to increase accuracy" rather than to be seen from the back of the classroom. Seems he'd seen pictures of a Mural Quadrant from the 1600s and put 2 and 2 together in the absence of any working knowledge of how to use a slide rule ...

            History may well be written by the victor, but it is doomed to be rewritten on Teh Intarwebz by those too lazy to do some real legwork and crack a book or two.

          4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: And how do you show a space

            In our case you also had to know where the cards would be punched, some machines/operators read Ø on the coding sheet as zero and O for letter-O, others used the reverse.

        2. Kubla Cant Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: And how do you show a space

          Low and behold

          As this is a thread about pedantry I feel obliged to point out that it's "Lo and behold". "Lo" is an archaic contraction of "Look".

          1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: And how do you show a space

            "Lo" is an archaic contraction of "Look".

            I learned something today.

            1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

              Re: And how do you show a space

              ...and now we may discuss learned vs learnt!

              I'm reasonably sure that you had the correct one, however some of these things also vary depending on English vs American.

          2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Re: And how do you show a space

            As further pedantry, surely you don't need both "Lo" and "Behold". In context, each means about the same thing.

            I know people say "Lo and behold", but that doesn't mean that it's correct.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: And how do you show a space

              "I know people say "Lo and behold", but that doesn't mean that it's correct."

              It's used in The Bible, so it must be correct. No proof needed, just faith :-)

              1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

                Re: And how do you show a space

                It is not used in the bible. https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/lo-and-behold.html

                As quoted, the closest that you get: "And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir."

                The bible has a lot of things said twice. It's religious.

                It isn't quite the same thing, I suppose. Sherlock Holmes told John Watson, "You see, but you do not observe." And indeed, you can look and not see. You search your desk for something that sits in the middle of it the whole time. Maybe not everyone does this...

                1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                  Re: And how do you show a space

                  Being as how neither "lo" nor "behold" are actually Hebrew words the presence of either in the Bible would really have given theologists something to think about.

                  As to what the King James version of the Bible contains, mentioned in that link - that is the King James version of the Bible. The clue is in the name.

            2. Precordial thump

              Re: And how do you show a space

              By that logic, we no longer need both "look" and "see". Which one will we get rid of?

              1. Mark Ruit

                Re: And how do you show a space

                It is entirely possible to look without seeing: rather more difficult to see without looking.

              2. DiViDeD Silver badge

                Re: both "look" and "see"

                But in the venerable and ancient West Walian outpost of Pembrokeshire (there is no 'Dyfed') those precise terms are used when someone was 'just having a look, see', or when 'it was over there, see, look', look you.

            3. Trixr

              Re: And how do you show a space

              I dunno, my impression was that "lo" had a similar feel to "voila" in French (apols to pedants for missing grave accent).

              As in, "look over *there*!" Rather than just "see!" (which is more what behold implies)

    4. Robin

      Re: pet peeve

      > "Login" is the noun for the user's account, "log in" the verb.

      I once pointed out a typo on the customer-facing website along these lines, and it was dismissed on the basis that "login" as a verb is used so widely that it's accepted parlance. *sigh

      1. OGShakes

        Re: pet peeve

        I have Dyslexia and my Mum worked as a proof reader, so when windows 95 came out and I was doing GCSE course work, I was lectured about every one of these little grammar rules. Once I reached college I realized the staff all had worse grammar than me and spell check helped me with the rest, so didn't let her near my work again.

        1. eionmac

          Re: pet peeve

          Freedom from Mom. Just like when you can piss standing up (when male).

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: pet peeve

        Becoming accepted parlance is how neologisms enter the regular vocabulary.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: pet peeve

          Language evolves faster than pedants.

          1. swampdog
            Joke

            Re: pet peeve

            If one googles..

            "language etymology" [latin] -> [old french] -> [middle english]

            "pedant etymology" [latin] -> [italian] -> [french&|english] -> [16th century]

            ..it looks like pedantry had evolved slightly more.

      3. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: pet peeve

        So, instead of saying "logging in" we should say "loggining"?

        ;^)

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: pet peeve

          we should say "loggining"?

          I expect something like that will happen eventually. Just look at the example of the American usage of 'burglarizing' in place of 'burgling'.

          1. Mephistro Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: pet peeve

            If they'd just stop there... I expect them to start using "burglarizitating" inside the next decade!

            ;^)

            1. Rol Silver badge

              Re: pet peeve

              I believe it creates a greater sense of malice.

              Given the option, I'd much prefer to be buggered than buggarized, which sounds infinitely more painful.

          2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Re: pet peeve

            The last time I looked, "burglar" was an ancient noun, but without a verb. Around 1890, both British and U.S. English formed a verb, but America got "burglarize" and Britain got "burgle".

            In the latest issue of "Marvel Action Spider-Man", Spider-Man uses the word "burgle", and his team mates (Ultimate Spider-Man and Ghost Spider) challenge this. All the characters and the credited writer, Delilah S. Dawson, are American, so I don't know what happened here. It may be addressed next month, since in this telling they all go to the same high school and are interns at the Daily Bugle newspaper - and their English may be scrutinised in either venue.

            ...My reading choices are my own affair.

            1. dajames Silver badge

              Re: pet peeve

              The last time I looked, "burglar" was an ancient noun, but without a verb.

              The verb is "burgle". Someone who burgles is a burglar. What more do you need?

              It is strange, though, that (according to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary) the word "burglar" has been around since the mid 16th Century, but "burgle" only since the mid 19th ... but if the word "burgle" did not exist when you last looked you're probably the oldest person here!

              1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

                Re: pet peeve

                I think it's called "back formation", where people think that Word A needs to exist and to produce Word B, but it isn't so. For instance, Word A being, "to burgle’", and Word B being the answer to the question, "Who burgles" - a burglar. But that isn't where Word B came from. It could be someone's name, Burgla presumably, and anyone else who behaves like Burgla did is called "Burglar". Yes, I am doing it too.

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: pet peeve

            Ditto "envision"/"envisage"

            And do we really need "digitalising"?

            1. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: do we really need "digitalising"?

              .. not when we have the perfectly good "digitalisationing'

    5. Nick Kew
      Coat

      Re: pet peeve

      Oh dear. ITYM "how actually to log in".

      Which not merely rids us of the grammatical faux pas, but perhaps also demonstrates the redundancy of the longer word. Would "how to log in" not be our best expression here?

      I'll get me coat.

      1. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge
        Trollface

        Re: pet peeve

        Clearly El Reg is on a continuing mission to boldly split infinitives that no man has split before.

        1. Ken Shabby
          Headmaster

          Re: pet peeve

          They should learn to not do that.

  8. Mystic Megabyte
    Windows

    Themes

    About a week after installing a Win95 PC in an office we got a call back. It took me a few minutes to work out the problem, they'd set white text on a white background.

    Back in the office another 95 fail was hitting "Print" before saving your work. The printer light would flash and after a long wait Windows would crash and nothing got printed :(

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Themes

      Luckily for me, I started on Windows 3 (->3.11 wfw) where the Ctrl-S keyboard combination became an enforced habit. Especially prior to printing. Most Win95 users soon got into the same habit before too long too...

      It's a habit that I still have and it still saves me. That along with doing a Save-As before I start making any changes to a document that I am copying.

      1. eionmac

        Re: Themes

        I teach seniors to 'handle' computers. The very first thing on opening any create work document (word processor, spreadsheet, notepad etc,) is to get them to save the blank document to a 'relevant file name' then and only then proceed with then creating their work. And 'in case of fire' ,click save and run! (or rather amble with walking sticks),

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Themes

        I dimly remember, in those Windows 3 something days that you always had to save before printing ( still a good idea to save save and save again anyway). Because if you didn't there was a good chance the computer would freeze or crash and lose your work when you tried to print.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Novell netware on Win95

    Given the woeful networking functions in Win95, an awful lot of organisations plumped for netware over the top of Win95. Many folks got frustrated by the "lock down" of permissions; although interestingly you could bypass the lot by hammering escape at appropriate points in the boot cycle.

    One could have always gone NT of course, but then software choices were in those dark days rather limited.

    Alternatives weren't a lot better of course. V. expensive proprietary unix, or OS/2. Still begrudge that Amiga never made inroads to serious computing outside of the Graphics world.

    1. Flightmode

      Re: Novell netware on Win95

      Ah, client32. Those were the days.

      // Double-barrel CNE

    2. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Novell netware on Win95

      Netware 3.11 with NT4.0 very good

      The manuals weighed a ton though

    3. Colin Bull 1
      Happy

      Re: Novell netware on Win95

      The Index manual for Novell was a brilliant way to cure insomnia

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Windows 95 was quite the change from the Windows that had preceded it."

    But a nicely tidied version of CDE. What a pity it all went wrong.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The arcane arte of using a mouse

    A few years back I replaced a DOS system with a new system with a GUI. The context is industrial automation, where upgrade cycles are in the multi-decades, so yes, things that run on DOS are still around.

    One of the operators was utterly unable to perform a double click. He would grab the mouse firmly, click on the left button with such impetus that the entire mouse would slide off the control he was attempting to double click, hold the button down for well over half a second, release the button, then physically lift the mouse by a centimeter or so, and finally slam it back on the table while clicking the button again.

    I tried to show him how to use a mouse for a while, then I gave up and added a keyboard shortcut.

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: The arcane arte of using a mouse

      Hmmm, that might well count as an actual disability. If the user can't learn, they have essentially the same need as Granny Arthritic who just finds it too physically painful.

      If presented with such a luser @work, my thoughts would turn to whether an alternative device like a trackball might serve?

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: The arcane arte of using a mouse

        Sounds to me like very poor co-ordination, which would be a disability.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Bronze badge

          Re: The arcane arte of using a mouse

          Not necessarily. Some people are so used to toggle switches that mouse button action isn't in their muscle memory, and it takes a while to learn basic mousing. A good exercise is to get them to put their hand flat on the table and tap out a rhythm with their index finger, as it demonstrates the type of action required.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The arcane arte of using a mouse

            Honestly, in all seriousness, one of the best mousing exercises is Solitaire. I've heard talk about "gamifying" things to encourage improvement - Microsoft thought that through a long time ago.

            1. hplasm Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: The arcane arte of using a mouse

              "I've heard talk about "gamifying" things to encourage improvement - Microsoft thought that through a long time ago.

              7 0"

              Explains all the 'As a gamer..." Windows fans..

            2. Anomalous Custard

              Re: The arcane arte of using a mouse

              Back when I was a trainer we had a section in our Intro to Windows courses that was just playing Solitaire and Minesweeper. Most people's mouse control improved a bit after that.

          2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: The arcane arte of using a mouse

            I think it took my Mum about a year to grasp the double click. I may even have gone into her Windows settings and slowed down the click interval required for the pooter to recognise it as a double click. She's fine with it now.

            Drag and drop on the other hand...

            But then I struggle to do that on one of those horrible track pads on laptops, so I suppose I can't really blame her.

            1. Filippo

              Re: The arcane arte of using a mouse

              In fairness, about 70% of my drag-and-drop actions are mistakes.

            2. eionmac

              Re: The arcane arte of using a mouse

              Teaching oldies I avoid "Drag and drop on the other hand..." . Simply teach highlight (select) , Copy (Ctrl+ C), go to new place, 'make it Visible' (Ctrl+V) . It seems to work OK with them.

          3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: The arcane arte of using a mouse

            "A good exercise is to get them to put their hand flat on the table and tap out a rhythm with their index finger, as it demonstrates the type of action required."

            Also the primary reason Solitaire and Mines were in pretty much every release of Windows since at least 3.0. (were either in the full version of 1.0 or 2.0? I only saw 1.0 as a runtime for Pagemaker and can't remember what 2,0 looked like)

    2. David Paul Morgan
      Facepalm

      Re: The arcane arte of using a mouse

      back in the Win3.11/Win95 days, I used to try and train the staff to use the terminals and windows terminal emulators. So, one user, the senior auditor, I asked to start the 7561 terminal to connect to the ICL-VME system.

      "so, use the mouse to move the pointer over the little picture - which we call an icon - of the 7561 terminal, then double-click on the left button"

      the senior auditor picked up the mouse, used his middle finger under the mouse to roll the wheel and move the pointer, then double clicked like it was a TV remote control.

      He's never seen anyone use a mouse before.

  12. katrinab Silver badge
    Unhappy

    If asking about Recycle Bin emptying schedules is the most stupid question you've ever had, the you are extremely fortunate.

    1. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
      Coat

      It's always a bugger cleaning the Tipp-ex off the screen

      1. OssianScotland Silver badge
        Coat

        Don't joke about it. I used to be a teacher and once failed to prevent on-screen spelling correction with Tippex. Child (thick as two short planks, although I am being very unfair to timber) had been told (by an English teacher) that spelling mistakes should be tippexed out and a correction written in neatly, then (unfortunately by me) that a red, squiggly, line on the screen meant a spelling mistake....

        … the rest, as they say, is history....

        Fortunately in the days of CRT monitors, so a razor blade removed the evidence cleanly.

        Icon, because that was one of the final straws which got me out of the teaching profession....

  13. agurney

    Icons

    Many moons ago I was documenting a CAD program that had been migrated from a terminal UI to a graphical UI.

    One icon that had me confused looked like a pair of cat footprints. .. turns out it was Pause (Paws).

    I can't remember if it was changed after I pointed out that there may be problems when it came to translating to French or German.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Icons

      > One icon that had me confused looked like a pair of cat footprints. .. turns out it was Pause (Paws).

      Given the level of language pedantry so far in the comments, I'm sure you'll all appreciate:

      Q. What's the difference between a cat and a sentence?

      A: One has claws at the end of its paws, while the other has a pause at the end of its clause.

  14. SVV Silver badge

    "Does someone come round and empty that?"

    Of course not you idiot, but the virtual paper used for the documents gets recycled so it can be used again in new Word documents, thus saving the cutting down of many virtual trees.

    Also, why is the recycle bin grey and not green?

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: "Does someone come round and empty that?"

      Also, why is the recycle bin grey and not green?

      Because Microsoft, being the hard up bunch of cash strapped tightwads that they are, used non-UV stable green pixel colours for the recycle bin greens and these faded in the glorious light of the new Operating Systems features.

      Something like that anyway. Is it beer o'clock yet?

  15. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Ah the heady days of yore.

    Got a call from an opthalmologists office. Turned out their HP inkjet printer died and I was to install a new printer.

    OS was OS/2 Warp.

    Got the printer installed and checked that everything was fine and working. Did a reboot and then noticed a shedload of windows and templates and other arb stuff still open after boot, and that some stuff was not right.

    By default OS2 autostarts everything that was open at the time of shutdown. This was duly fixed, and people was glad to have the pc snappy and responsive again.

    Came back at a later stage, and installed the last warp fixpack (warp3) and it was even better then. Glad it went off without a fubar.

    It was some controller for machinery to check eyes.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      It was some controller for machinery to check eyes.

      Have you had your eyes checked recently?

      No, they've always been blue.

      You say you have spots before your eyes?

      Yes.

      have you seen a specialist?

      no, just the spots...

      Eye Thangyew!

  16. Amentheist
    Unhappy

    Arcane indeed

    It took me years to drill the wonders of the right-click in my parent's minds when they had to start using computers (modern ones anyway as mum used to be a programmer for a bit in an era long gone)

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Arcane indeed

      I used to use a four button puck on tablet for chip layout and the system allowed you to do gestures with various buttons which you could tie to commands - e.g. writing a Z with the blue button would zoom in to the extent of the Z area on the screen and writing it backwards would zoom out etc etc. It was a fantastically powerful thing to use and I found the two button mouse really restrictive to start with. By the time Petzold came out I'd got used to it but recently I wrote some javascript to do the same sort of thing and its incredibly powerful.

  17. OrneryRedGuy

    Stupid UI

    Apple had the trash icon. It seemed to work, and people understood it.

    OS/2 had the shredder. Not very forgiving, but you knew damn well what you were doing when you dragged something to it. I think there were add-ons you could download so it'd drip animated blood.

    Recycling? I remember thinking they'd tried to stretch the analogy too far. Too open to interpretation. But that was about the height of the time when Microsoft assumed everybody thought like them and would use a computer like them...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stupid UI

      As someone else pointed out in a reply to another comment, the "recycling bin " came about because preciously (proably Windows 1.0) MS had had a trash can for this functionality but got sued by Apple as they'd had the idea of stealig Xerox PARC's ideas first.

      1. OrneryRedGuy

        Re: Stupid UI

        It wasn't functionality that MS lost on - it was the likeness of the icon. It was a very small win for Apple in an otherwise massive loss in a look and feel lawsuit. I still feel they could have come up with a better analogy for the "data goes away and doesn't come back" icon.

    2. Tim Jenkins

      Re: Stupid UI

      - Apple had the trash icon. It seemed to work, and people understood it. -

      Except for dragging the diskette icon to the Trash to eject it...

      1. OrneryRedGuy

        Re: Stupid UI

        Point noted.

      2. Annihilator Silver badge

        Re: Stupid UI

        I recall a lot of user suspicion when teaching them how to eject a disk on a Mac in the 90s...

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Andrew Wiseman

        Re: Stupid UI

        I remember this - definitely a Lotus product, I had it on my Windows machine

        The Mac we had in the office had an extension that had Oscar from Sesame Street pop up out of the Trash singing, "Oh, I love trash."

        Apparently parents lost lots of important files because their children were left alone and found they liked to make Oscar sing!

      2. John Arthur

        Re: Stupid UI

        Lotus Organizer, past of Lotus Smart Suite. I am still using it on Windows 10!

      3. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Stupid UI

        Lotus Organiser

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mis-sold Windows 95

    I based my purchase decision of Windows 95 on the basis of their advertising which clearly stated "Start me up, and I'll never stop". Having installed Windows95 I discovered that it had a "shutdown" feature that was literally built into the start menu. Their advertising was clearly misleading and I intend to start a class-action against them asking for recomponse of several $100 for ever person who had watched a Windows 95 advert before buying a copy as they were clearly lied to.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Mis-sold Windows 95

      Their advertising was even more misleading than that. The only thing Windows 95 could make true from that song was never used in the advertising.

      You make a grown man cry

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the other hand ...

    ... someone I know (in their 50s like me) was recently working in the stock control offices of a large chain store where their systems were still based on DOS! (she said it was DOS but I suspect it may have been a command line based terminals runnig on a central "mainframe" somewhere else) She was the only person there who had ever used DOS and all the younger people were completely confused when they were first introduced to the system as they had zero comprehension of the idea of a "command line" and couldn't understand how a computer could work without a mouse and graphics!

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: On the other hand ...

      Probably an AS/400, mainframe terminals in stock control offices are a bit rare.

      1. cookieMonster

        Re: On the other hand ...

        Running something called "macpac", ahh the memories...

      2. Cxwf

        Re: On the other hand ...

        We still use AS/400 for a lot of stuff at my office. But as there’s no manuals available most people have no idea how to use it, so the corporate office keeps trying to get us to drop it in favor of Silverlake *shudder*. Seems they’ll finally succeed next month.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: On the other hand ...

          Manuals? For an AS/400? The whole system is just about stuffed with contextual help texts. Of course, the application programmers can have been lazy, but you will have to blame those for that, the possibilities are there (and are pretty easy).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FacePalm

    I've had a similar shocker, only a few years ago - where you expect most employed people to have a certain literacy with computers and IT (its on the Job Spec, right??)

    Anyway, i had a call from a person attempting to VPN in from home - long story short, I got hte point of asking if their Internet was OK, router plugged in etc....

    Then it came,,,,the answer, "Yeah, the "thingy" is plugged in but i pressed the button to turn the annoying lights off"

    I nearly wept....

  21. Blackjack Silver badge

    16 years using Windows 95!

    That's how long my old Compaq with Windows 95 lasted, I even upgraded it to have 16 MB of ram. Sadly Compaq computers had the bios on the hard drive so once it finally died the computer was a goner.

    By comparison, my HP Media Center Windows XP laptop only lasted 9 years before the video card was a goner. And my Lenovo laptop with Windows 10 killed the hard disk in a year and a half.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: 16 years using Windows 95!

      I have a friend who's been using 95 for probably that long. Uses an IBM Lenovo and has had to replace components but that thing just keeps on trucking. I will add, before he retired he bought like 4 of them with the intent of 3 being there for "spare parts".

      1. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: 16 years using Windows 95!

        Anyone can make a computer last that that way. 16 years was how long the original hard disk lasted, if with some problems. This really shows how crappy hard disks are nowadays.

  22. HarryBl

    I used to work for a company that installed Windows networks into GP surgeries. We'd go in and install the kit and give the staff a quick whiz round the desktop before the proper training took place.

    This was at a time when personal computers were quite rare in people's homes so the staff weren't particularly familiar with Windows.

    I will never forget the female receptionist who was quite happy moving the mouse pointer from left to right by moving the mouse from left to right but couldn't understand why the pointer didn't move up the screen when she lifted the mouse off the desk...

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      I worked for a company that *replaced* those original GP Windows machines. Yea gods, they weighed a ton. Being surgeries, I had the opportunity to put one on the scales. 30 lbooyd kg! Three of 'em weighed more than me.

      A couple of weeks later the suspension in my car went from the weight of ferrying them back to the depot.

  23. martinusher Silver badge

    If was a successful hijack

    The "recycle bin" and "folders" were a way of changing the culture of computing to make it more friendly to companies like Microsoft. On the surface they were mimicking the sorts of things you'd do in a pre-computing office but in fact they were systematically removing users from the actual structure of the machine. (Apple are as bad or worse, of course.)

    The result is that once you get to a truly modern system you can't actually find anything unless you use the indexing and utilities provided by the OS vendor. This has the rather pernicious effect of locking software developers into their OS because they don't work with files and filesystems directly but work through the OS supplied APIs.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: If was a successful hijack

      "they were systematically removing users from the actual structure of the machine"

      How do you represent an inode to a user?

      The whole of computer programming from the introduction of the symbolic assembler onwards has been to provide higher and higher levels of abstraction, away from the actual structure of the machine to concepts more meaningful to the user (including the programmer).

  24. Roopee
    Facepalm

    The 1990s haven't gone away yet...

    I regularly come across people who never use the right mouse button and have no idea what it does!

    1. bristolmoose

      Re: The 1990s haven't gone away yet...

      Or Shift or Tab,

      I find several users who when logging on press Caps Lock then the first letter of their first name (Me, silently "use Shift, use Shift"), then Caps Lock then the rest of their name then Caps Lock and the first letter of their second name then Caps lock then the rest of their second name. This is because it doesn't work unless their user name has capitals (Me silently gritting teeth: "Yes it does")

      Then...pick up the mouse, eventually get the pointer to the Password field (Me: Use TAB!!!)

      Then back to the keyboard: Caps Lock on, first letter of password.......

      1. karly

        Re: The 1990s haven't gone away yet...

        Totally agree with this comment - working in IT support I am amazed by the very high percentage use of Caps Lock when typing in usernames and passwords and the failure to use TAB.

        It must be mobile devices which are keeping this keyboard habit alive.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: The 1990s haven't gone away yet...

          Not mobile devices, because they don't have such an obvious caps lock. And it pre-exists that anyway.

          There are a lot of people who just don't get the idea of a shift key. I think it's the idea of using two keys together. It's point and peck typing. One finger at a time hitting one letter at a time.

          Caps lock-tap L-caps lock tap i k e space tap t h i s .

          I never objected to the school ICT curriculum and have serious doubts about all this coding for the same reason as my doubts about every lad doing woodwork when I was a kid - very few have the aptitude or future pathway that makes this a priority.

          BUT I did object to the lack of basic keyboard teaching in the curriculum.

          And even when I was at school myself in the 70s this was becoming an issue. And would have been more use to more of us than bloody wood and metal fucking work too. How many times have I used a lathe in the last 40+ years? 0 A plane, once or twice and not very well because it's a skill you lose quite quickly.

          A saw, over those 40 years? a few dozen times maybe.

          Which almost certainly goes for 90% of the population.

          Some basic DIY skills and how to use a keyboard were more important than making a dovetail fucking joint even in 1970. Knowing how to change a tap washer, put a hook onto a hollow wall or change a fucking fuse would be a damned sight more useful

          [end rant]

          1. Dave559 Bronze badge

            Re: The 1990s haven't gone away yet...

            You would have been incredibly far-sighted in the 1970s (I've added the 19- to remind us all that it was last century, and quite some time ago at that (eeek)!) to have even imagined, let alone foreseen, that computer typing skills (let alone typewriting skills, which was surely at that time "a women's job") would become a necessity for many/most of us, more so than "practical" handicraft skills.

            With the benefit of hindsight (and the disbenefit of our ageing memories), it's easy to forget just how rapid the technological pace of change was in the 80s and 90s.

            Not only that, but the odds of most/all of us dying in a nuclear war by 1990 seemed just as likely as any other outcome. (Spoiler: Fortunately that changed, and also surprisingly rapidly, too.)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The 1990s haven't gone away yet...

              Due to my choice of subjects for 'O' Level, the options for a remaining timeslot were History, Geography or... Typing. I chose the latter as I thought at the time it would be a useful skill. This was 1982/3. I was the only male in the class!

              A bit out of practice in terms of touch typing at speed, but the basic skill is still paying dividends after 35 years

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The 1990s haven't gone away yet...

        Computer illiterate end users I can understand - but "Application Developers" should know better.

        Posting as AS - I'm going to forward this to a couple of such offenders in the vain hope that they will change their ways.

      3. baud Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: The 1990s haven't gone away yet...

        You're describing the person sitting behind me right now. Except she's supposed to be a developer

      4. Sherrie Ludwig

        Re: The 1990s haven't gone away yet...

        "I find several users who when logging on press Caps Lock then the first letter of their first name (Me, silently "use Shift, use Shift"),"

        I am a hasty and inaccurate typist, so I hit the Caps Lock often when I intend to hit just Shift. I removed the Caps Lock button on one keyboard (unfortunately my current one doesn't have that option). Why is there such an unhelpful button right near one that is often needed? Yes, I am not a techie, why do you ask?

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: The 1990s haven't gone away yet...

          You can disable caps lock Google it e.g.

          https://m.wikihow.com/Disable-the-Capslock-Key-in-Windows

          or various Tweaking apps will do it.

          And don't worry. Everyone does. Putting it next to the " a" key means that typing ND SO instead of and so or similar is really common.

  25. anthonyminchinton@yahoo.co.uk

    Win95 trash can

    So there I am in the venerable NHS catering department (outsourced) and one of the clerical staff say that they like the idea of recycling and thoroughly support Microsoft bringing recycling to the computer. Much better to recycle than delete as its more environmentally friendly.

    For once I was utterly speechless – thankfully.

  26. mark4155

    You've made my Saturday morning. Drinks all round! Toodle Pip!

    1. eionmac

      and I am being accused of being a 'screen-adict'

      This reading has enthralled me (I had forgotten OS/2). My lunch has gone cold and stale and I am being accused of being a 'screen-addict'. The Register is to blame for many "wasted hours" but also many tips and lessons. Hope age allows me to remember the lessons.

  27. Kimo

    Best thing about Windows 95...

    ...was you could still boot into DOS and launch programs from there.

  28. ChrisBedford

    2019, and I still have plenty of 'those' users

    "Don't know anything about computers"

    Those announcing this are really telling you they aren't prepared to put in the mental effort required to learn and want spoonfeeding. I'm normally quite patient, and sometimes those who learn just a little but are disproportionately confident, make a bigger mess - but the pride when they tell you this can really get up my nose...

    "Didn't know you could right-click" (repeatedly, *EVERY* *SINGLE* *TIME* I mention it)

    Aaaarrrghhhhh... [repeatedly bashes head against wall]

  29. sketharaman

    LOL at least you can right-click anytime and empty the Windows Recycle Bin. Not like my glass trash in Germany which could be emptied out in the bin located 2 kms away only by appointment. Memory serves, it was twice a week, one hour each time.

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